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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 18 Apr 15 at 17:00 PM

Report: Rovers 3 Forest 3

Rudy Gestede scored all three goals but Rovers weren't able to claim all three points as Nottingham Forest came back on three occasions to share the points.

Just like the midweek draw against Birmingham City, Rovers' inability to build on a lead proved costly as they had to settle for a point once more.

Gestede took full advantage of defensive hesitancy to head the home side in front after just three minutes, but Michail Antonio did likewise to level less than five minutes later.

Forest had the better of the play but it was Rovers who edged back in front, Craig Conway picking out Gestede once more and he made no mistake with a header back across goal.

But poor defensive play on the stroke of half-time saw Antonio serve up Henri Lansbury and he struck from close-range to make it 2-2 at the break.

There were fewer chances in the second half, the match slower to get going until Ben Marshall headed against the crossbar from yet another Conway centre.

With seven minutes to go Rudy claimed his hat-trick as Conway delivered once more, the Benin international rising at the back post to power home his 18th of the campaign.

However Forest were handed a third equaliser on 88 minutes, Marshall's wasteful pass was straight to Antonio and he drove home from 20 yards.

Whilst Rudy Gestede left Ewood Park with the match ball, Rovers' inability to perform when it mattered meant they didn't claim the win.


The contrast of sunshine and shade at Ewood Park mirrored the difference between attack and defence as it was a frantic start.

Just three minutes in Rovers were in front, Gestede blocked a clearance from Eric Lichaj and then put enough pressure on Jamaal Lascelles and goalkeeper Karl Darlow to head home a bouncing ball.

But the response from the visitors was near-immediate, Mo Barrow making space down the right and his near post cross was touched home by Antonio.

As both defences continued to struggle, Rovers had claims for a penalty after Gestede had been pushed waved away, whilst Simon Eastwood had to make a double save to keep out Henri Lansbury after the home midfield had parted.

After the early flurry of chances the game settled down but against a five man midfield it was the visitors who were enjoying more of the possession, with the wide men of Antonio and Barrow causing the Rovers' defence plenty of problems.

Barrow curled an effort just wide, then after excellent play by Antonio Gary Gardner was through but Eastwood saved well.

Despite those chances from the visitors it was Rovers who got their noses in front once more against the run of play, Marshall did well to feed Conway on the right and his cross was powered home by Gestede.

Only an important block from Lascelles prevented Rovers grabbing a third before the break, the on-loan defender getting enough in the way to divert a diving header from Jordan Rhodes behind.

But on the stroke of half-time a quick break from Forest saw them level once more. Antonio cutting in from the left befor teeing up Lansbury and he made no mistake from 12 yards.

The second half was slower to get going and didn't really spring into life until Marshall rattled the woodwork just past the hour mark.

The impressive Conway made space down the right but with attentions drawn towards Rhodes and Gestede, Marshall took advantage but planted his bullet header against the crossbar.

That woke Forest up with Lansbury and Antonio going close, whilst Dexter Blackstock curled an effort beyond the post.

A tactical change saw Rovers regain the lead seven minutes from time as Conway switched to the left flank. The Scotsman delivered from the wing, right on the head of Gestede, and he completed his hat-trick with a back post header.

However Rovers' soft centre came back to haunt them once more as they failed to hold onto a lead for a third time.

Marshall won the ball on the right but played it straight into the path of Antonio and the former Sheffield Wednesday man needed no second invitation to plant an impressive 20-yard strike past the helpless Eastwood.

It summed up Rovers' afternoon, their last seven days, and their season, as they once again failed to build on a promising position.

ROVERS: Eastwood, Henley, Spurr, Kilgallon (c), Olsson, Conway, Cairney, Williamson, Marshall (sub P. Taylor 90+1 mins), Rhodes, Gestede.

Subs not used: Steele, Brown, O'Sullivan, Spearing, Lenihan, Evans.

Goals: Gestede 3, 35, 83 mins.

Booked: None.

FOREST: Darlow, Lichaj, Lansbury (c), Fox (sub Mancienne 71 mins), Lascelles, Antonio, Barrow (sub Burke 78 mins), Gardner, Blackstock (sub Akpom 89 mins), Vaughan, Hobbs.

Subs not used: Evtimov (GK), Paterson, Walker, Osborn

Goals: Antonio 7, 88 mins, Lansbury 45 mins.

Booked: Vaughan.

Attendance: 13,876 (including 1099 visiting supporters)

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